Unlike the Corona advert, life’s not one long summer - particularly not right now! Here’s the perfect beer to share honestly between mates about where you're both at…and, where you'd rather be!
Origin – Yeerongpilly. Queensland
ABV – 7.5%
Size – 375mL can
Style – Red Indian Pale Ale
Small, local and traditional – several of the attributes associated with craft beer that go hand in hand with sustainability. However, some craft brews are more sustainable than others, and a select few are so sustainable you could almost tell yourself you’re saving the planet, one fresh brew at a time. When I first meet Helios Brewing’s Scott Shomer, it took one look at the logo sitting atop of his custom-designed brewery for me to group them in the latter category.
While it doesn't take a genius to figure out Helios Brewing has something to do with the sun – being named after an ancient Greek sun god is a bit of a give-a-way – understanding how to harness the sun to build what is arguably the country’s most environmentally sustainable brewery takes a PHD or two. Fortunately, Shomer and fellow founders Tony and Jayne Rutter, all career environmental scientists, had a few between them! Yet it's a man that believes that P's get degrees, former Gage Roads and Mash Brewery frontman Charlie Hodgson, that Helios early success can be just as much attributed to. Inspired by the figures of Greek mythology, Shomer and Hodgson have turned out a heavenly range of core beers and specials, including the likes of the Midas Golden Ale and the Medusa Black IPA.
Yet aside from being the nectar of the gods, the other characteristic that each beer has in common is its malt-forward nature. Layering malts to provide a platform for the hops to sit upon is a brewing method that Charlie is well versed in, and it's something he's perfected, outstandingly so in this joint effort with his old mate Eddie Still, now brewing at Nowhereman in Perth. While it was initially destined to be made at Brewvegas, unfortunately, the collaboration had to be scuttled due to a global pandemic. Luckily, the recipe was written, 90 percent of which made use of NSW Riverina maltsters Voyager Craft Malt's SM-40, and Charlie pushed on. Yet while that SM-40 provides the beautiful ruby-red hue, it just the forerunner before the berry and plum aromas bursts forth. The same fruit flavours continue onto the front palate, before taking a back seat to the single malts distinctive toffee, roasted grains and earthy caramel characters. The hops balance the malt sweetness in the body, before finishing with a gentle lingering bitterness.
Brewed using the power of the sun, it's the sort of single malt that you can drink knowing you're doing your bit for mother nature!